Breast Cancer Support Meeting Tonight
& Refreshments Will Be Served

Alysa Cummings
Last Modified: July 16, 2003

The drug rep pulls goodies
from a large shopping bag.
Struggles with a dull knife.
Cuts lengths of string
wrapped around
two white bakery boxes.

With a flourish, he lifts the lids,
opens twin treasure chests of sweets.
Reveals a fruit covered torte
draped in pineapple circles,
blood red strawberries and sliced bananas,
a cream filled cake
shiny with icing glaze.
And for the calorie counters,
a platter of ripe melon balls
ready to dive into lemon yogurt dip.

He works his buffet,
artfully arranges napkins, plates and forks-
a self-conscious host
fussing, folding, fidgeting,
anxious for his guests to arrive.

The first woman walks into the meeting room.
The drug rep jumps to attention.
Asks the obvious:
Are you a breast cancer survivor?

Before she can answer
floodgates open,
his questions spill out,
a torrent of medicalese:
Lymph nodes?
Adjuvant treatment?

She listens open-mouthed and mute.
Her brain spins with unspoken questions:
Is this how we sing Getting-to-Know-You in Cancerland?
Should I begin my organ recital right on cue?
Shall I unbutton my shirt?
Does he need a quick peek?
Are breast cancer battle scars my ticket to eat?

He stops.
So does her angry mind chatter.
They face each other
Count off a silent beat.
She needs to answer him
Nothing more than this:

I've been on every ride in the park

The ice in her voice,
her down turned mouth,
halt a conversation
that never had a chance to start.


Herbal Support and Safety During Breast Cancer
by The 4Wholeness Team
June 15, 2015

Is Ayurveda the Answer to Women’s Health Issues?
by The 4Wholeness Team
September 01, 2015